Recruitment agencies with at least a faint familiarity with search engine optimisation (SEO) tend to know the differences between on-page and off-page SEO – but if you don’t, here’s a reminder. The former refers to aspects of your actual website that you can modify to benefit your search engine rankings, such as its page titles, meta descriptions, URL structures and navigation. But what is the latter?
While many recruiters will be perfectly aware that off-page SEO concerns the optimisation of their search engine result pages (SERPs) away from their actual site, they often make the mistake of presuming that it is ultimately just about link building.
In truth, there are many other elements of your agency’s off-page SEO that may be affecting the ease with which jobseekers can find you online. Did you know, for example, that even just mentions of your recruitment agency’s brand – such as its name or site URL without an actual clickable link to your site – can have an impact on your search engine rankings? That’s before we even consider the immense role that social media can play…
Although we could go into great detail about all of the off-page elements that could make a difference to your agency’s search engine fortunes, encompassing authority, history, locality and more, the three most important off-page SEO activities that you need to be aware of are link building, social media and social bookmarking.
While no shortage of observers have asked in the last few years whether link building is dead, the truth is that links still matter to Google, and therefore to your online recruitment agency. As a matter of fact, Google finds it almost impossible to determine the value of a web page that does not have any links pointed towards it. The basic principle as far as the search engine spiders are concerned is that if lots of good quality, trusted and relevant sites link to your site, the likelihood is that it’s a pretty good site that will also be useful to those entering relevant search terms in Google.
Unfortunately, website owners’ knowledge of this principle – and their associated desperation to gather links – has so often led them to adopt such now-unethical link building techniques as the use of link exchange schemes and shared content directories. Try these methods today, and you are likely to be penalised by Google and therefore suffer a drop in rankings.
Today, the key is to create genuinely natural links – links that arise, in other words, because the other site genuinely wishes to link to you, with no ulterior motive. There’s ultimately only one way to attract natural links – publish content that people actually want to link to, which brings us nicely onto the matter of social media.
We are now firmly into the social media age, and it’s no different as far as recruitment is concerned. Vacancies are now routinely advertised, found and filled via the prominent social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, as often as via more traditional online job platforms, such as job boards or the employer website’s careers page.
But there’s another imperative reason for your recruitment agency to build the strongest possible social media presence – the role that it can have in boosting your off-page SEO. Although almost all of the links that your site gains from social media will be ‘nofollow’ links, meaning that they do not have any direct power for link building purposes, social media mentions are gaining ever-greater prominence in Google’s algorithms as factors in determining rankings.
So, if you fear that prospective candidates for the kind of roles that your recruitment agency can offer are struggling to find you online, give some thought to your off-page SEO – or book a free consultation today with one of our web design or social media experts right here at Outlines Design.
September 3, 2016, Jack